Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two Weeks Followup Since August 2011 Hair Battle

This is another gluefree quickweave style with my own hairline out. The two other pictures included in this article is of my hair without the gro-protect solution and one with the gro-protect solution.

As promised, I have included pictures of the back of my head following my double relaxation within a two day time period. Please do not try this at home. Smile. I am totally against it, but it is not fatal as you can see. Overall, I had a small setback in length, but I have been completely happy with my hair since I discontinued use of the flat irons. I have been overjoyed. I really, really can tell that my hair can take more abuse and still remain in tact. On the contrary, when I was using the flat irons to straighten my hair, I just never seem to be going in the right direction. No matter how often I shampooed; no matter how many leave-in conditioners and flat iron sprays. My hair just always seemed vulnerable. No more. Within two more years, I should be at 12 inches all over, and I am excited about the future! The relaxers are cool. I have about three more brands to try within the next six months. As for styling, I decided to go back into my gluefree quickweave. My own hair is out in the front, but this is a great option to have a more corporate look without so much fuss! I have been trying to perfect the crystallization phase so that removal will be as easy as the demo videos. For hair types with tightly closed cuticles, the removal of the gluefree quickweave has always been pretty easy. For those who have more curly, porous hair - filling the hair with curly hair leave-in conditioner followed by styling gel seems to give me the smoothest, slickest mold. I am soooo looking forward to a carefree removal. The extra time in application will be well worth it if the removal is quick and easy. If it works, then I will post the product combination that worked.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tipping versus Gratuity

Many years ago, an educator told my class that "tips" stand for To "Ensure"/Insure Proper Service. This topic came up tonight as I was leaving a casual restaurant. The tip jar is located at the register. I usually walk back to the register after my meal and put a dollar into it. The crew is very thankful, and I am appreciative of them pouring the remainder of my drink into a "to go" cup and refilling it. I also liked their upbeat spirit. I do not have to tip, but the phrase "to ensure proper service" kept entering into my head. I plan to return to this place, and I want the same good service. So it was a no brainer - the tip really was gratuity at this point. I was showing gratitude and leaving some incentive to remain nice to me on the next visit.

I often leave a tip every night that I am staying at a hotel because different people clean rooms on different days. Leaving money for the cleaning lady every morning, "ensures" me that I get extra perks in the bathroom, etc. I think that I read somewhere in a tipping article that it is recommended to leave some money everyday for the cleaning lady. I am religious about this rule. Tipping the cleaning lady is not always a gratuity, but it is to ensure proper service. Smile.

By now, you can tell the difference between gratuity and tipping. In a restaurant that you eat often . . . I suggest "tipping" even if the service was poor. Why? You guessed it "to ensure proper service" on your next visit. Smile.

Now, when it comes to hair services . . . a committed stylist is always going to take great care of your hair with or without a tip. Also, with the economy being down, most stylists are just happy that you are still patronizing their services regardless of your ability to tip.

The only hair instance that I truly remember where a tip made a difference was in beauty school. As a student, looking back, all of my tools were not as professional as the ones I have now. I remember it taking me what seems like forever to put "hundred million" curls in this lady's head who had a short haircut. She looked gorgeous in the end, but I had the hardest time with either the marcels were too hot or not hot enough. It turns out that they were not tempered properly, but no one told me. Back to the story at hand . . . Well, the lady did not tip me after I slaved over her head. She came back to the beauty school the next week. She said that she had gotten a huge amount of compliments and wanted me to service her again. I was of course "busy." Smile. The other student that serviced her did not style it like I did, and she was not happy. I did not care mainly because I remembered that I felt that she was unappreciative because I took so much time to service her. That is probably why she did not tip me; however, tipping me on her prior service would probably have ensured that I was not too busy to service her again on the next service. Smile. I am more seasoned and mature now. I would not turn down a hair service that someone specifically request for me. I definitely see it as an honor. People have a lot of choices. I appreciate my clients for just paying my mid-range pricing without additional tipping.

This article is just food for thought. We are always paying for some sort of service. I like tipping to ensure good service on my next regular visit. Gratuity may be the difference between leaving 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%. The higher the percentage, then the more you express your gratitude.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tool Review: Wrap, Snap and Go Comfort Hair Rollers

A Bantu Knot Set has been a popular way to "roll" hair at night for medium to long hair clients. These Wrap, Snap, and Go rollers can assist in holding large bantu knots. Please see for "Hair Diaries: Heat-free styling" to learn more about a "bantu knot set" for volumious hair the next morning.

Product Review: Naked by Essations Honey and Almond Conditioner

Naked by Essations Honey and Almond Moisture Whip Conditioner has been ecstasy this week for moisture conditioning. It feels soooo good as it is massaged into the hair. The clients are loving it. I brought it back with me from the Hair Show. The closest distributor is in Raleigh, NC area, but the salesperson said that he can make sure that my salon gets serviced.

So far the conditioner is definitely a "keeper." The shampoo is great too! I am still a Pureology fan for shampoo though. Also, I believe the Naked line is excellent for naturally curly hair.

September 17, 2011 Update: This Essations Naked conditioner actually has a lot of wheat protein in it. So if you are doing a separate protein treatment, then this conditioner will NOT serve as a moisturizing conditioner. This conditioner by itself should be enough protein and moisture balance without using a separate protein treatment. In a nutshell, if your hair is relaxed, then one should be careful about overusing this conditioner. It could be drying from the protein. Naturally curly hair is probably the best match for this conditioner. It still feels great going onto the hair and scalp . . .

Geodesic Clipper Cutting with "G6" Geocurve Comb

I first introduced the Geodesic technology in a previous article highlighting hair styling legend Floyd Kenyatta. This mannequin was clipper cut with just two clipper strokes using the Geocurve comb. One clipper cut in the back. Then the hair was combed up into a ponytail in the front. The "G6" was inserted into the mohawh area for the second clipper cut. The back was cut "frown face." The mohawk section was cut "smiley face." It is a curved comb. Hopefully, you get the "frown face" versus the "smiley face." Always hold the comb where the teeth are facing you for control. So two clipper strokes and Voila! you get this core cut. You can fine tune the cut as you would like.
When cutting the back, leave the front hair alone in front of the ears. Pictured is hairstylist David Palmer and his assistant. I believe that team Geodesic announced that David Palmer is opening a salon in Paris, France soon. He may be originally a British born stylist. He also has a haircare line coming out soon. You can research more about David Palmer at your leisure.
The classic bob is completed using clippers and "G6" Geocurve comb.

You can also fringe the face using the curve of the comb. This article does feature three different mannequins and various clipper cutting angle options. The Geocurve comb is a "throwback" from about ten or 15 years ago. The technology is centered around the "convex clipper comb." Please see my other article for other convex clipper comb options.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nappy Love Seems to be Conditional

"You is kind. You is beautiful. You is important." This phrase was repeated over and over in the movie "The Help." No matter what your race; No matter what your hair type is; No matter how much you weigh. "You are kind. You are beautiful. You are important!"

When schools were integrated, some Whites began teaching "self-hatred" versus "Black Pride." Blacks are still hating on each other. I witnessed a "sistah" describing another "sistah" as looking like a "wooly mammoth." This comment although it was not directed at me, it ripped me to the core. Where is our Black pride? Why do little black girls think a blonde wig is "good hair?" God created all hair types, and God made no mistakes.

As an intelligent, college educated, self-employed Black woman whose hair in its natural state is probably a "wooly mammoth" would never want to trade places with anyone else. My IQ and beauty has never been defined by what is "socially acceptable." If I need to change my image to fit into society, then that is a choice that I make to play the game of politics. Young ladies must find their inner beauty before they can change their outer beauty. Outer beauty will get you in the corporate door. Your intellect will always keep you above your counterparts. Earn your college education from colleges that are held as prestigious; you will need paperwork to back your intellect. Always dream of your destination, and then plan to get there. Sometimes there is no room to bring "all your friends" along . . . just get there, then you can send for them later. My message is about self-esteem. It must be maintained at all times. As far as finding a hairstylist for those special days, look for a hairstylist that has hair texture that is at least as tight as yours. You will not be able to tell by looking at their hair. You have to ask questions about their relaxer frequency and natural curl pattern. I have to laugh at this point because men rule the beauty industry, and they do not have to grow their own hair. I personally no longer allow any stylist to touch my hair that does not have hair like mine. I have been the most pleased with my hair since I stopped allowing other stylists to do it. I still have not met another stylist in this business who has hair like mine and who has a kind heart. I attended the Bronner Brothers hair show this past weekend, and I did not see a single stylist from my area. This was sad. I have always tried to remain leading edge within reason. I wish there were more stylists that felt the same way in my area.

On a separate note, pictured is two different mannequins. One mannequin has silkier hair than the other. I recently bought the more textured hair mannequin because it was on my wish list. The salesperson said that I can relax it, but I have no intentions of doing so.

In addition, while I was at the hair show, I noticed many stylists. Some had photo shoot ready hair. Others, simply had an afro or colored locs. If I dive deeper into my observation, I will say that hairstylists fall into only two categories: 1)Low maintenance hair (i.e. men and women that don't have a sensitive scalp) or 2) High Maintenance hair (i.e. women with a sensitive scalp.)

I have grown out many women's hair to "bra strap length" (BSL) with Type 4 curl patterns, but they were not sensitive scalp as far as relaxers. There is still a gap in the industry. I asked Johnny Wright about Soft Sheen Carson's new relaxer and scalp sensitivity. I felt that he gave me a generic answer of "Yes, it has been tested on sensitive scalp, and there is less discomfort." Of course, he seemed to be on the defense. I really felt that he gave me a "blow-off" answer. The company gave us a sample pack of the relaxer system. I will try it out eventually and form my own opinion.

I am really about advancing the beauty of women regardless of race. I am also about increasing self-esteem. I covered a lot in this article. Hopefully, some of it is food for thought! Make today productive!

Sweat and Humidity Friendly Hairstyling

Before travelling to the hair show, I visited the more "urban" salons to see what they were up to. Typically, they charge less for their hair services, but folks want their hairstyle to hold up no matter what the cost of the service. So what I saw repeatedly was clients being rolled with these small narrow flexi-rods. Apparently, whether you are relaxed, natural, or in transition, this was the best hairstyling option for surviving the weather. I had some of these smaller flexi-rods in my salon inventory, but I stocked up on these while I was at the hair show. They are the perfect size because no matter how many you put in the hair, your head will still fit under the dryer. The larger rods sometimes are hard to dry because you can not get the dryer hood completely over the head.

The results are curly hair. This styling should be exercise friendly as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 2011 Hair Battle - One week

Hey! Just want to give everyone an update on my hair! It's been one week since I was fighting with it to straighten it. Smile. It's growing!!! Fresh relaxers can be sooo flat for overcurly hair. I do not recommend anyone experimenting to the level that I did. I do not have any regrets. I like learning; actually, I love learning. Also, I keep an arsenal of hair products that solve about every issue under the sun. My quick weave in the back is starting to lift some so that means new growth. I have NOT used any more heat -just hairdressings such as V05 hairdressing. I was trying to avoid any heavy hairdressing, but I wanted a cream that will seal and heal. VO5 hairdressing is an old school remedy, but I like it. Please see my separate article about v05 hairdressing. I used it during my invisible braids phase.

This article is a quick check-in. When I remove the quickweave, I will take a picture of the back of my head too! Just for the curious! Also, to keep me honest with myself . . . a picture is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Feather Extensions Trend

In a previous article, I mentioned that "Feather extensions" were trending. They were selling some of the Feather extensions at the August 2011 Bronner Brothers Hair show. The long "cheetah" print hair extensions are the cheaper version of the "feather" look. The more real looking feathers cost about double the price. All of them are designed to be safe to curl with the curling iron.

August 2011 Hair Show: Floyd Kenyatta's Geodesic

I just returned from the August 2011 Bronner Brothers International Hair Show in Atlanta, GA. Floyd Kenyatta, an Ambassador for Paul Mitchell Systems, presented the Geodesic clipper cutting philosophy. The presentation featured a curved comb made completely of tourmaline and carbon fibers that can withstand heat up to 440 degrees Fahrenheit.

This curved clipper comb assists in condensed cutting of bobs and layers.

Surprisingly, I had a professional convex clipper comb set in my tool inventory. I did not know how to use them until I took this Geodesic class. Needless to say, I did not purchase this fancy curved comb because I felt the cutting technique was more important than the tool. After returning from the hair show, I remembered that I had given the convex clipper combs away. I then began my treasure hunt for Convex Clipper combs. Annie brand #11 seems to be the only ones left on the market. These combs cost about 10 times less if you can find them. The technology is over ten years old, but like style, it recycles.
I purchased a few extra convex clipper comb packs in case others want to experiment with the Geodesic clipper cutting method without a big investment into the "G6" curved comb.

The Annie brand features left and right side combs with handles. The combs can be hung on hooks.

Want to know how to use them? Let me know, and I will tell you!

August 2011 Hair Show: Johnny Wright

I just came back from the Bronner Brothers International Hair Show full of new tricks!

The Soft Sheen Carson presentation was lead by Celebrity Hair Artist Johnny Wright. He is most known as First Lady Michelle Obama's hair stylist. He introduced Housewives of Atlanta reality tv show star Cynthia Bailey. Photography by Benita Blocker.

He showed us how to do Michelle Obama's updo as well as his celebrity toolkit for editorial photo shoots. Guess what was in his toolkit? Two different partial wigs in two different colors. They were "clip-in" units. I had to laugh because if you don't have time to start with a shampoo service on a model . . . it is better to commercially integrate a hairpiece to make the model look voluminous!

This is the first of a series of articles surrounding this hair show. So stay tuned for feather extensions, new Geodesic cutting, Soft Sheen Carson's new smart lye relaxer system and more!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The European look means Straight hair!

Hair by Benita Blocker.

After struggling to find a new "curly" hair maintenance regimen for my new texlaxed hair, I decided to just add extensions for a couple of weeks.

I always, always and I mean always keep my own hair long in the front and along the hairline. Why? Because I am proned to add extensions at any time. Even when trying to sport a curly look, I tuck my long pieces behing my ears. This tucked away look may not be the neatest look, but I do not have the head for an extremely short cut. I prefer long and straight. I used the gluefree quickweave method for the back and sides. I bonded one piece of hair in the front. I had a vision, and I am going to enjoy this hairstyle for about two weeks. After that, I am going to have my fingers crossed for an easy extension removal!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hair Battle Wounds: Confessions of a Hairstylist

Pictured is a "relaxer burn" down my neck from two days ago! Do you see the scab? It has been a battle. A real "OMG" /give me strength, wisdom, and patience was in order! So let me catch everyone up . . . I have coarse, resistant, type 4c hair and a sensitive scalp. My new growth had gotten to the point where I could not work with it in its natural state. I have some business meetings coming up and needed to Europeanize my look so I decided that it was time to relax my hair. I completed a strand test on some of hair that I had collected. The Chi Super Relaxer seemed to have left the test strands strong but a little dry. Please see separate articles for strand test, etc. I then completed the "first" relaxer service the following day after my strand test. The hair in the back of my head just did not process long enough because I started burning. Again, I have the battle wound pictured to show you that I was really needing to rinse the relaxer out. Luckily, my scalp did not suffer the same wound as my neck. I just do not think that my neck got the full rinse and neutralize. Accidental residue. But back to the story. My blowdry resulted in a slight afro in the back of my head. I straightened it, but it reverted by the next morning. Also, I should have trusted my strand test. My hair was too dry the next morning. I had some ends that were breaking. So the battle commenced again. I had a choice to put everything from organic coconut oil to Nexxus Humectress to Ultra Sheen on it. Smile. I put all three on it. I then tried to use the curling iron to re-straighten the back. I felt that I was burning my hair. So I was faced with the decision to either relax the back of my head again. Yes, one day later. Or keep burning it with the curling iron trying to keep it straight. No brainer for me . . . I went into the salon and used Onesta hydrating shampoo followed by Mizani Moistufuse conditioner. My hair felt 100% better. I rinsed out the conditioner and reviewed my curl pattern all over. The back of my head was just too underprocessed so I sat under the platform dryer to dry my hair without too much manuipulation. I based my scalp in the back of my head. I relaxed it again with Super Strength until I felt a burn. (I was determined to see what the Chi Super was capable of.) Luckily, the hair had become softer and more manageable. I still had some curl to it. I used the Mizani Moistufuse as the conditioner. I did the blowdry and marcels to straighten and curl. However, I was still looking like one of those women with relaxed hair that was past due for a touch-up.

I was ready to scream at this point. Two relaxer services in two days, and I am still not straight. I ran some errands with a ponytail style and a bang. You can not beat a ponytail! The next morning, the breakage on my pillow was significantly less. So the moisture level in the hair was much better, but I was still frizzy. So I told myself that God must not want me to have straight hair right now. So I wet it down again and put the KeraCare Defining Custard through it. I looked great. I went to run errands while my hair was still pretty damp. By the end of the day, I realized that my regular regimen of KeraCare Defining Custard had become very firm. (i.e. hard and stiff) In a word, my hair had done it to me again. I was a "hot mess!" Okay, I washed it again with the KeraCare Cleansing Cream followed by Mixed Chicks Leave-in conditioner. The frizzy afro was back within a couple of hours. Then I washed it again with the KeraCare Cleansing cream followed by the Sedal conditioner with Ouidad in it. I then sprayed the Ouidad Botanical Boost to prevent the KeraCare Defining Custard from setting too firm again. The results are the pictures above. I was finally happy. I am blessed that my hair withstood all of that within a 48 hour time period. I do not know if the Viviscal tablets that I take one a day made a difference, but it did not hurt.

God really works in mysterious ways. I was trying to get straight, relaxed hair, but that was not God's plan. We have to work within God's plan. The last few days have been a battle, but I think that God knew what He was doing! I had to adjust my wash n'go regimen a little, but I think that I have a style that I can deal with.

I must say that straightening the hair was not in vain. I performed two haircuts within two days. Once - right after each relaxer. It is all good. The last haircut was about five months ago.

Well, I am done with relaxing for about 8 weeks. By then, I should have a new relaxer system that I want to try. I have not given up on relaxers, but I have almost given up on ever being able to relax completely straight without burning. The saga will begin again in another 8 weeks when my one inch afro starts giving me styling challenges. Until then, I will let it grow, grow, grow while sporting my more texturized wash n' go look.

This hair battle has been fought with scars and all . . . however, I have lived to fight another day. Stay tuned for the next hair battle in a couple months. Smile. This sister has earned her medal of honor. My head is held proud. I could have "wigged it out" when it got tough, but I had promised myself . . . there is no turning back . . . you will tackle this type 4c hair with a sensitive scalp. There is too many sistahs out there depending on you!

I am charting waters that are not often sailed.

Most popular hairstylists seem to be either men with short hair or women that do not have Type 4 hair nor do they have a sensitive scalp.

My goal is long, healthy, semi-relaxed to relaxed "European-accepted" hair. I really feel that I am making headway. I just do not think that I have found the right relaxer yet. We will see within another few months. The saga will continue!

Commercial Hair Review: 27 pieces Quick weave

So what is a 27 piece? It is a quick weave hairstyle. The hair is pre-packaged into three bundles plus a closure. Two of the bundles have 9 thin wefts rolled up. The longer length bundle only has 8 thin wefts rolled up. 9 times 2 equals 18 pieces. Then add the 8 piece bundle plus the closure to get 27 pieces.

You do not have to use all 27 pieces. The hair is already curled. There are quite a few youtube videos on how to complete a 27 pieces hairstyle. You can get the Halle Berry look with this 27 pieces. If you want more length, then buy an extra package of longer hair 8" or 10" and use in the bang and top area for a edgy, sophisicated look. You can mix curly hair through the top and the 27 pieces around the perimeter.

This style is on my bucket list. Smile. I always wanted to get a Halle Berry look that is customized to my head! Please see my articles on gluefree quickweave application before you begin to experiment with the 27 pieces.

Salon Suites and Individual Styling Studios

Photo credit:

Pictured is an individual styling suite. Most suites range from $150 per week to $399 per week. Depending on the area, location, etc.

Benefits: 1) Salon ownership without the extra overhead. Just pay booth rent for your own "lock and key." 2) Most suites still require a separate business license and separate salon license. You can have your own salon name and Suite number. 3) You can have privacy with your clients versus the open floor plan. 4)You do not have to worry about recruiting other hairstylists to help pay booth rent on time.

In this day and time, most people only seek hair appointments by specific stylist referral. The salons that feed off a lot of walk-in traffic are chain salons like Great Clips, Sports Clips, Famous Hair, SuperCuts, Costcutters, MasterCuts, etc. The price points are quite fair, and most people know that it is a gamble going to these types of places as to your final outcome.

So what about the traditional salons? There are benefits to working in a traditional salon too such as 1) Bonding with a team. 2) Experimenting with new products on other team members versus the client. 3) Backup assistance for full foil haircolor or just another team member to give a second opinion. 4) Training sessions and more people to learn from.

Whether you choose the traditional salon or the salon suite, you do not make money without clientele. It is a business. You do not keep 100% of your income from services if you are commissioned, but it is a great way to build clientele and leave when you are ready to become independent.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Relaxer Strand Test or Hair color Strand Test

In a separate article, I mentioned how to save hair from major haircuts or possible detangling sessions. I pulled some of the longest strands from my "sandwich bag" of hair. I then taped them down securely to a piece of cellophane. I use pre-cut cellophane "foil" for some of my haircoloring such as lighteners. You can use regular cellophane and this method for haircolor or relaxing or any other testing you want to do on your own hair without it being attached to your head at the time. Smile.

When relaxing, I lightly brushed the strands of hair. Honestly, it is hard to tell if you have the strands right side up or upside down. Upside down means the cuticles are going the outside direction. Actually, as you stretch out the longer pieces of hair to test, some strands can go either way as you tape them down. Hair color will be the best way to test using this "sampling" method. The direction of the cuticle would not matter. Also, smoothing will not be as important either.

Relaxer Service: From Texturized to More Texturized

Yes! I caved in. It was time to relax my hair. I was a little sad, but I have a hair show coming up as well as some other business meetings. Although, nappy hair has nothing to do with my IQ, it has a lot to do with sales and decision making. In addition, I got so tired of people going into culture shock over my type 4c hair. Black people are not used to seeing their own African ultra curly texture. My hair kept shrinking on me. Even texturized some, it was a "bear" to control. Every time it shriveled up, everyone kept thinking that I cut my hair. When outside of the flat iron damaged pieces that break off, all the rest of hair was still there - just tightly coiled. So I could not take the stares that I had been receiving- plus my virgin new growth was a full inch in some places so I had an afro underneath of my texturized hair.
I used the Chi Deep Brilliance SUPER strength. My hair is resistant as you can see. I am still not bone straight, but most Type 3 clients never get bone straight when relaxed. I think that we have been brainwashed to think that our hair needs to be relaxed bone straight.
I still have a sensitive scalp. I based my scalp really well and let it distribute onto my scalp. I put protective solution on my ends. I self-relaxed trying to avoid touching the scalp until the last possible pass through.
About 20 minutess later, I started to feel the burn. Thank God that the Chi Deep Brilliance relaxer is a conditioning relaxer. It seems to have a delay before potential scalp irritation starts. I had completed a relaxer strand test a few days prior to self-relaxing to see how Super strength would do to my hair. Please see my separate article on "saving shedded hair for testing" as well as an upcoming article on showing the results of the relaxer strand test.

The "BEFORE" pictures show how unruly my hair had become. People are not used to seeing this hair. The "AFTER" picture is above and is more socially accepted. Hey! I still have some waves when it is wet. So I may work the "wash n' go" regimen when I can. However, I did trim/cut to get all the rigid ends off. I was trying to keep the ends from catching on itself. I still may get a little more cut off. We will see.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Roller set placement for "Silk wrap" Look

Just found this great Roller set placement video on youtube. She rolls the mohawk section all the way back, then she "flip sets" the sides. Disregard the flat ironing segment of the video. Please see my article on Jumbo Roller set if you have questions about clipping the rollers. So are you ready to watch? Click on "Roller set placement video" wording above to check out the link.

Notes: Model does have wavy hair versus straight hair versus overcurly hair.

Also, if you need to copy/paste to view, then here is the URL too:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tool Review: Curlformers

Curlformers sales have picked up recently. I had purchased these over a year ago. They are cute and fun, but you need to have straight hair and straight roots. So unless you are born with straight hair or you have a fresh relaxer touchup, you are not going to get optimum results. They cost about $12 a pack. They come in different lengths and diameters. They are soft enough to sleep in. I stared at the Curlformers multi-pack in Sally Beauty Supply for about 15 minutes going back and forth trying to decide if I had enough clientele that could use them. I decided that the select group of people who would most benefit from this expensive "curling" tool would probably complete the service at home and let it air day. Thus I decided against adding to my supply of 4. The Curlformer hook to slide hair through the curlformer costs around $4. Just slide the hook through the curlformer, latch onto some hair and loop it through the curlformer and release. Beautiful spirals lock into place. Just let them dry.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pre-pay for a Hair Service? Hold or Fold?

You are probably wondering what does pre-pay have to do with hair? But hold that thought. This "prepay" image is from Okay, now that the photo credits are out of the way. I had a hair consultation with a client today that just totally blew my mind. Being self-employed for over eight years, I have learned when "to hold" and when "to fold." Today, I had to hold my ground. So here's what went down . . .

A hair consultation was scheduled by a Latino mom for her teenage daughter with Type 3 curl pattern. The consultation was free. The mom came into the salon four deep. It was her, her daughter, her Black girlfriend, and another young Black male. They came into the salon with fast food trash which they just dumped in the closest salon trash can without asking permission. You probably can tell that this consultation was getting off to a bad start? I tried to remain upbeat. I can deal with the trash and a few extra people at a free hair consultation. Really, I can. Continuing on . . . so I start the consultation. I see very fine, dense, curly hair with some "straight" ends from too much heat. (i.e. Heat damage) Overall, the hair was soft and seemed to be manageable, not easy to tangle. The mom was eager to know how I would straighten it. I introduced her to the stove and marcels. She was unfamiliar with this technique so she immediately asked her Black girlfriend about the tools. The Black girlfriend was more familiar with the ceramic flat iron which I immediately reminded them of the daughter's already straight, heat damaged ends that can be caused by flat irons. Of course, the tone of this consultation is shifting further downhill because the Black girlfriend was wearing a baseball cap with short layered, frizzy hair, and I just "shut her down." My personal thoughts were that she should be next in line for a hair consultation, but I stayed focus and professional. As I proceeded to answer the rest of the mom's hair questions about her daughter's hair, the Black girlfriend voluntarily leaves out of the salon with the other young man. We then finally complete the consultation about 10 more minutes later. The mom then lets me know that she is possibly interested in a Sunday appointment. I am thinking "You have got to be kidding." All of this energy that I have exerted and she needs a Sunday appointment???? I politely told her that I am not open on Sundays. She states that she has had a hard time finding someone open on Sunday to service her daughter. She asked if I would find it worth it to come in on a Sunday for the service. I told her not to be "cheesy" but if she wanted to pre-pay for the service then I will commit to a Sunday appointment. The ball was put back into her hands. "Pre-pay or no way."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Night Sweats? Alternative to Satin Pillow Covers!

Feeling like a slave to the satin pillow cover? I have. I had been sweating fiercely this summer on my "polyester" satin pillow cover. My clients reported sweating as well. So here is the next level of hair protection while sleeping . . . The buckwheat hull pillow and cotton sateen pillow covers.

Cotton sateen is more breathable, and it is smooth like satin. The buckwheat hull pillow conforms to the head and neck for comfort. The hulls allow air circulation, and the pillow can be refrigerated to make the hulls cool. Cold therapy should only be used after seeking medical advice.

The hulls should also absorb any sweat. I am excited about my new pillow and its benefits. I watched a youtube video to assist me in choosing a good pillow. The key point that I remembered was to purchase a pillow with a zipper opening. As the pillow ages, the hulls may become flatter or less dense. The opening in the pillow will allow me to add more organic buckwheat hulls as I need to.

Price: Pillow plus cotton sateen pillow cover is about a $100 investment.

Those who are allergy prone should seek medical advice as to whether or not this pillow will trigger an allergy attack.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Product Line Review: Kinky-Curly

I finally bought all the Kinky-Curly components. I did not get excessive crystallization nor flakes by using their "Come Clean" shampoo. Actually, the shampoo bottle says " Oils, butters, silicones, wax and grease must be washed out of your hair before using Kinky-Curly styling products in order to achieve the best results. Products that contain oils, silicones or butters will coat the hair and may result in white residue, flakes or frizzy."

The shampoo is sulfate-free. The detangler "Knot Today" can be used as a leave-in conditioner for coarse hair or a rinse-out conditioner for fine hair.

The "Spiral Spritz" was lightweight, but it did not prevent shrinkage on my coarse, type 4c hair. I think that I will have to experiment with this line some more. I believe - I need the Curling Custard for better control for my hair type. I still saw a few "powder sprinkles" of residue. I think that I overused the Leave-in conditioner before using the Styling aids.

Without a doubt, the synergy of using the whole line yields optimum results.

Type 3 hair - skip the "Curling Custard" unless you are molding your hairline or edges.

Type 4 hair - skip the "Spiral Spritz" unless you want extreme curl shrinkage.

The Kinky-Curly line leaves the hair very soft. Day 5 is usually my best styling day. However, I will have to figure out how to get to Day 5 without product build-up. If I have to start over, Day one starts my count over. I believe that water and "Curling Custard" will be my daily maintenance regimen if I stick with this line. I still like my KeraCare defining Custard regimen. Please see my other articles on daily maintenance hair.

I promised myself to try the whole Kinky-Curly line without crossing over into any other product line. So I am fulfilling my promise. Using Kinky-Curly product line did not cause as much hair curl shrinkage like the Ouidad line, but it was close. Also, I noticed that the Ouidad product line did not moisturize my hair as much as the Kinky-Curly line. The Kinky-Curly line does seem to be very moisturizing and more natural/organic.

Detangled? Keep that hair!

So you just completed a good detangle on your hair . . . why not keep the hair to experiment with haircolor or a new relaxer? Although the hair is no longer attached to your head, why not use it to learn more? It responds the same way whether it is attached or not. Hair is dead. You do not feel when it is cut. There is no nerve endings in the hair. The scalp is what is alive and feels everything touching it.

On a separate note, if you get a haircut of over an inch, then collect the hair to experiment with in lieu of dumping it in the trash. Just store shedded or cut hair in a sandwich bag and label the bag.